Agenda item

Public Speaking

To note any requests to speak on any items that are on the agenda in accordance with the Council’s Public Speaking Scheme (see footnote to this agenda).


Councillor Izzi Seccombe (Leader of Council and Chair of Cabinet) welcomed two public speakers to the meeting. These were Mr Dave Passingham and Mr John Dinnie who spoke on the report titled ‘20mph Speed Limits - Task & Finish Group Recommendations’. 


1.     Mr Dave Passingham


Mr Passingham made the following statement:


I’m representing 20’s Plenty Warwickshire which is part of the national 20’s Planty campaign. 20mph is Government policy. The UK recently signed the Stockholm Declaration with 130 other nations, agreeing on a default 20mph limit wherever cyclists and pedestrians mix with motor vehicles.


The 20mph Task and Finish group did not properly consult the national 20’s Plenty Campaign, whose founder and main adviser, Rod King, was awarded an MBE for his work for road safety.


A presentation for Councillors was given by 20’s Plenty Campaign before the Task and Finish Group was set up but not many members attended.


The group investigated two wide areas in Warwickshire and concluded that 20mph would be expensive to implement with little benefit. It then recommended targeted schemes.  This is despite evidence in other parts of the country that it would provide value for money seven times higher than targeted physical calmed speed reduction zones.


There are additional savings for 20mph in crash costs and the loads on the NHS because as well as being great value for money, lowering speed limits becomes the foundation of local active travel, community connections, noise reduction, air quality and duty of care strategies.


The Task and Finish Group does not mention the road safety benefits even though the UK’s Department for Transport estimates that speed reductions of 1mph in built-up areas reduces casualties by 6%. 20mph schemes typically lead to 20% fewer casualties.


It dismisses the environmental implications of 20 mph even though there has been shown to be a reduction on average of 25% in carbon dioxide emissions and 28% nitrous oxide. It does not mention the 50% reduction in noise when speeds are reduced. This is one of the main complaints of residents.  It does not mention that travel times are hardly affected. The 20’s Plenty Campaign calls on the Council to discuss with the 16 Towns and Parishes that have already passed 20mph motions for their areas, the best and easiest ways of implementing their schemes on a wide area basis.


2.     Mr John Dinnie


Mr Dinnie made the following statement:


Thank you for the opportunity to speak.  My name is John Dinnie.  Ima from Shipston on Stour.  I previously addressed Council about our working together on 20mph in Shipston.  What we have experienced in Shipston will be the same for every community in Warwickshire.  Dave has explained why the Task and Finish Group have reached the wrong conclusions and I want to speak about the effect the wrong policy will have on the communities you serve.


By following a piecemeal approach, rather than a full implementation of national policies, individual councillors will have to arbitrate between conflicting communities and priorities trying to differentiate between Ilmington and Brailes, Tredingtonn and Long Compton, resulting in a fragmented solution satisfying no-one.  Your communities will be deprived of the safety and environmental benefits that have clearly been demonstrated in widespread applications of the 20s Plenty approach.  Your health and wellbeing boards and partnerships like ours in Shipston will find their active travel aspirations frustrated and curtailed by parental fear and the reluctance of the elderly.  Walking and cycling will continue to be prevented by your lack of control of speeding traffic.  Children are not just close to schools.  The elderly do not all live in care homes or sheltered housing.  Care in the community means that vulnerable people live everywhere and they are entitled to the safety and environmental protection of 20mph limits.  There has been considerable confusion caused by reference to enforcement.  This is a false argument and a separate mater best dealt with by the police, like seatbelts, drink driving and mobile phones.  Educate then legislate 20mph is the new normal.  This is the time for a cultural shift.  Your duty is to place the expectations for compliance not to feed the what you can get away with mentality.  I want you to fully understand what all your communities will be expecting from you and send a clear message to the motorists of Warwickshire and all our visitors that you care for your communities and you expect that from them too.


A third member of the public attended the meeting to speak on the item, but as they had not registered in accordance with the Public Speaking Policy, Councillor Seccombe suggested that they provide their statement in writing.